19 October 2015
We started without rain today and halfway in the morning the sun came through again. Our highlights were dominated by the very rare wild dogs today. The first sighting was found by our colleague Gert and we counted about 12 wild dogs hanging out in the road. Suddenly all ears perked up and they all looked into the bush: something got their attention.
But nothing really happened apart from them getting up, as one team they moved into the bush, around our vehicle and then went to lay back down on the road. On a side road the youngsters had found a chain of a no entry sign and that was of course fun to play with! They started picking it up and pulling it testing their strength. Dogs will be dogs and love playtime!
Then further on we were looking at the Sabie river from a bridge, when suddenly a wild dog came running out of the bush, into the middle of the dried river, behind a bush and then we heard some weird sounds of a wounded animal in need.... Three more dogs came running out towards the same spot. Backing up gave us a view just at the back of the bush where the wild dogs now with bloody red faces were digging into something that looks like it once was a small antelope.
After they had eaten all the high nutritious parts two dogs put their mouths full of intestines and ran away with it. Probably back to the pack to feed an alpha female that was left behind with pups. A third one also took some back and the fourth stayed behind to guard the kill from the vultures that already showed up. A hooded vulture and three white-backed vultures started to move in the carcass the moment the last dog around left the carcass and ran off in the same direction as his pack mates did.
Other animals seen: lots of vervet monkeys, bushbucks, impalas, baboons, hippos (of which twice a hippo outside the water on the side of the road), three times a herd of elephants, buffalo bulls, dwarf mongooses, banded mongooses, spider hunting wasp, warthogs, giraffes, lions, nyalas and a pretty kudu bull which came to greet us while having breakfast at the Skukuza Golf club.
Birds incuded a marabou stork, african hoopoe, african fish eagles, grey louries, burchell's starlings, yellow-billed hornbills, grey hornbills, white-breasted cormorants, hadeda ibises, blacksmith lapwings and a goliath heron.